This yogurt, I just don't know. Even as much as I admire the Activia spokesperson, Jamie Lee Curtis, I just can't bring myself to buy this stuff, even though I do believe that it is probably very delicious. Because buying this yogurt and walking around in the grocery with it displayed along with your Metamucil and your prune juice and your big ol' box of All-Bran? It is tantamount to announcing over the store's public address system: "The lady in the dairy section with the full cart and the shopping list and the really cute Coach knock-off bag? SHE CANNOT POO."
Honestly, those television commercials just make me cringe, particularly the ones that talk about the "Activia Challenge." The Activia Challenge is a promotional deal the Dannon yogurt people are offering to tout their product by "naturally regulating your digestive system." Seriously. Click here and go watch the videos submitted by Mary Ellen, Toni and Emily if you don't believe me. What you have to do is eat Activia yogurt for fourteen days and videotape yourself during this time and....
See? See, right there, I had an indelicate thought. You know how I am about sharing -- ALWAYS THINKING OF OTHERS -- so I'll tell you that just now I got this mental image of these three women in their respective bathrooms, perched saucily on the potty and saying, "I used to come in here and sit and sit and sit for so long, I could read the latest issue of Cosmo from cover to cover. And all for nothing, except maybe some leaky capillaries in my eyeballs from all the straining. Now I come in here once or even twice a day and whoopsie! There's some right now, slick as a whistle!"
And then there's that commercial where the woman is dressed in a slim pencil skirt, twirling in front of her mirror. In a voice-over, she says something like, "My lifestyle is so busy and hectic, I sometimes don't have the time to eat healthy foods."
Me, silently adding What You Can Read Between the Lines: "Sometimes, you get so backed up, your eyes turn brown."
Woman in Pencil Skirt: "So I eat Activia yogurt to regulate my digestive system and it helps me watch my figure."
Me, again silently: "Because as it turns out? When your colon isn't packed full of crap, it's easier to zip up your six six skirt!"
Okay, well, I don't really want to think these things. I don't really want to contemplate other people's pooing habits at all. I just want to watch HGTV and admire Scott McGillivray on Income Property and roll my eyes at the people on House Hunters who say they want to live in downtown San Francisco in order to enjoy the city atmosphere and then seem surprised and disappointed when they find out that there is TRAFFIC NOISE. I just want to watch television without seeing Jamie Lee Curtis pushing a cart of Activia yogurt through a park and forcing two people to eat some by telling them that it is "beyond tasty" with an unexpressed "AND IT WILL MAKE YOU POO LIKE A GRASS-FED COW" trailing along, unspoken, behind her chirpy words.
My last worrisome bit of thought about Activia came when I was Googling some information on this yummy treat was over Dannon's settlement of a class-action lawsuit brought against them by people who had eaten Activia yogurt and were feeling cheated by the company's claims.
Woozily, I considered the possibilities: Somewhere out there, people ate Activia yogurt and found that it...didn't make them poo? Or worse yet, that it made them poo too much? If you've ever seen that Saturday Night Live skit of "Jamie Lee Curtis" eating Activia yogurt while sitting on a sofa and doing multiple takes of a commercial, you'll understand. If you haven't, let me explain very briefly: There was an explosion of sorts. A big explosion.
As it turns out, the claim, which Dannon settled in 2010, was about the labeling on the little cartons that suggested that Activia yogurt offered immunity to disease through its "pro-biotics," whatever those are. Which, all I can say is thank goodness, because the thought of so many people -- mostly women -- walking around uncomfortably bloated from constipation, or worse yet, in danger of an embarrassing episode of projectile diarrhea -- at work, on the bus, at a child's soccer practice while handing out juice boxes -- was just too horrifying to think about.
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